It had been a nice, pleasant evening and Zane had been attentive and polite. They'd eaten the finest food and drunk the finest wine, though not much of it of course. Then, he'd offered to walk her back to her room and Zana looked at him, as though considering it. In fact, she was. "I'm not sure, Zane. I'm not sure what you're suggesting, but I'm not the kind of girl to..." he looked up in surprise and shook his head, speaking over her. "No! No, not that. I'm offering to walk you home, that's all. Make sure you're safe." Immortals, how she wished a pox on Theo in this moment, Zana thought to herself and looked at him with a slight lifting of her lips. "For all you know, I was about to say that I'm not the kind of girl to ever say no." It would be closer to the truth than what he assumed, she considered and her smile softened. "No, I know what you were going to say, I'm an excellent judge of character," he said. It took all her self control not to laugh. "And I know that somewhere, there's a man who has hurt you. Well, I won't make it two."
It was a shame, Zana thought, when the end of such a good meal was ruined by the nausea brought on by such as this. But never mind.
"I suppose it will be nice," she said, a slight smile and just the very smallest lean forward, towards him. "To have someone to walk me home. I don't know Viden well, not at all." He stood and offered his arm. "M'lady?" Zana hesitated for just a few trill and then, took his arm and walked out. They strolled together and she considered that he was too short for her liking. Biqaj men tended towards being taller and really that was just entirely her problem. What would Theo say were he to walk round the corner? Sighing slightly, she pushed the thought away. There was no point to it, but Zane would be a quickly forgotten memory, she knew that.
Or an interesting job.
But that was her mind wandering and it wouldn't do to allow that. He'd just asked her something, she realised and she turned to look at him. He smiled encouragingly and she knew he'd asked her about herself, because although she hadn't been paying attention, she'd heard it. So, she shrugged. "I don't like talking about myself," she lied. There had never been a more vain or self absorbed beast than Zana Delroth after all. "I came to Viden because I was due to be married." She glanced at him, trying to capture nervous. It wasn't easy for her to do that and so she came across as awkward, but that worked too. "I didn't know him, it was arranged." Somewhere, the dead man she had been about to marry was spinning in his grave. Had they buried him, she wondered? Maybe she should have attended that. "I'd traveled over from Rharne, he died before I arrived." Zane looked, because he felt, horrified. Unperturbed, Zana continued. "So, now I am here, I scraped together the last of my money and I'm hoping to fulfil a dream of studying at the Viden Academy." She had dreamed of it. Just last night, she'd been lost in the stacks of books and it had caused her to wake with a start.
Zane looked at her and his eyes were filled with compassion. Oh, how she wanted to use her Immortals-granted abilities and make him feel a sudden carnal lust to rival Syroa. Still, she didn't. Instead, she motioned to the corridor. "This is me." Turning back to him, she learned forward and kissed him on the cheek. "Goodnight, Zane. I had a lovely evening. I'll see you in class tomorrow."
That said, she went into her room and closed the door. "Don't look at me like that," she said to Mr Tricks, her stuffed bear. "Beggars and choosers, and all that."